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Stanford Report, May 17, 2000

CCSR: New building dedicated to bench-to-bedside research  

BY KRISTA CONGER

The new Center for Clinical Sciences Research (CCSR) will be dedicated tomorrow, Thursday, May 18, in a ceremony open to faculty, donors, alumni, staff and students. The events will begin with a symposium in Fairchild Auditorium from 1:00 to 4:40 p.m., followed by a dedication ceremony at 6:00 p.m. in the central atrium of the new building. University President Gerhard Casper and Eugene Bauer, MD, vice president for the medical center and dean of the medical school, will speak briefly, and champagne and wine will be available to toast the new construction.

Private donors, who provided nearly 90 percent of the financing for the CCSR, will be recognized at a dinner following the official dedication ceremony.

The new Center for Clinical Sciences Research will be dedicated on May 18. The building was designed by London-based architects Foster and Partners, known for designing the Hong Kong airport and the Century Tower in Tokyo. The building sports 489 lab benches, 12 seminar rooms, and two auditoriums. (Photo: Glenn Matsumura)

Four years in the making, the four-story glass and concrete building next to the Beckman Center will house both basic scientists and clinical researchers in an attempt to encourage a bench-to-bedside approach to medical research. The building's open floor plan and central atrium provide plenty of opportunities for researchers to meet and swap research stories, which may stimulate the development of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases and genetic disorders.

"The CCSR is designed to encourage intellectual exchange and collaboration among scientists," said Harry Greenberg, MD, senior associate dean for research. "This kind of approach to medicine allows scientists to share insights and expertise with each other and with clinicians, which can then lead to new investigation and applications."

Although the official opening of the building won't happen until tomorrow, some faculty members began moving in last week. These early arrivals will have already noticed the distinctive aspects of their new digs. Flanking the outside windows, long rows of laboratory benches run the length of the building. Lab space is assigned by bench numbers rather than room numbers, with few intervening walls to impede interactions among researchers. Labs will share common areas such as lunchrooms and office space, as well as working space such as cold rooms.

"The very fundamental concept of the building is that various lab groups share lab support spaces. It's a major new idea," said Kyle Glenn, senior project manager in capital planning and management who has worked on the building since 1996.

Research specialties of the new neighbors include molecular pharmacology, immunology, genetics, oncology, anatomy, dermatology and bone marrow transplantation. The building's inhabitants will also include representatives from the departments of pathology, radiation oncology and surgery. The mix-and-match atmosphere is intended to shake things up, helping the basic scientists to more easily realize the potential clinical applications of their research and enabling the clinical researchers of the group to get a preview of what new findings may soon be coming their way. Move-ins of the various lab groups will be staggered over the next several weeks.

The 214,000 gross-square-foot building was designed by London-based architects Foster and Partners. The firm is internationally known for designing the Hong Kong airport, the Century Tower in Tokyo, and the Carre d'Art cultural center in Nimes, France.

The firm's multicultural influence is reflected in the rows of 50 foot bamboo trees lining the central courtyard, which is topped by an open-air sunscreen. The faculty offices, seminar rooms and lunch areas look out over the courtyard. Their semicircular panels of windows can be shaded with curved rice-paper-like screens that slide along tracks on the floor.

A central, open walkway connects the two wings of the building on each level. The fourth floor of each wing is devoted to administration and teaching facilities and the basement of the building houses the medical school's anatomy laboratory.

The CCSR is connected to the Beckman Center by an underground hallway. Additionally, a walkway between the second floors of the two buildings is in the works.

The building sports 489 lab benches, each 7 feet long. It also has 12 seminar rooms that can seat up to 16 people, six conference rooms seating up to 20 people, and two larger auditoriums that can each seat up to 50 people.

Speakers at tomorrow's symposium, "The Center for Clinical Sciences Research: From Bench to Bedside," will include Patrick Brown, MD/PhD, associate professor of biochemistry, "Seeing the Human Genome in Action"; Paul Khavari, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology, "Molecular Translational Medicine for Skin Disease"; Allen Krensky, MD, Shelagh Galligan Professor of Pediatrics, "T Cells vs. the Scourges of Humanity"; and Lucy Shapiro, PhD, Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research and professor of developmental biology, "Translation from bench to bedside." SR